The newest viral rage is the #mannequinchallenge. It is basically a live version of a freeze frame picture. All kinds of videos have been uploaded by sports teams, schools, SLPs at ASHA (check out this video on PandaSpeech’s instagram page HERE) and even this dog (he is amazing)! When my son showed them to me, I thought it was silly fun but then I started to think about how I could use these videos with my kids working on social skills. It combines a topic with social relevance (for the moment) that they can talk to their peers about AND the perfect tool to work on some social language concepts (most of my kids LOVE videos).
Each of the challenge videos are thematic, for example, sports, music, or school. Remember to preview first, just to make sure nothing “unexpected” pops up! Often they have funny poses or actions included and it is incredible that
almost no one moves. Each video lasts only a minute or two, and is the perfect length of time to use in a social skills lesson. You can use these videos to work on identifying the gestalt or “big picture” idea the video represents (what’s the setting or theme of the video?) and identify the clues that helped them make a smart guess. Then you can talk about what the people in the video might be thinking or feeling and identify the related non-verbal clues that they see (there isn’t anyone speaking in the videos). The lesson can extend to include predictions about what might happen next when the frozen actions come to life. Most of the videos end with all the people moving, laughing, or clapping to celebrate their successful completion of the challenge so pause it before that point, to make your predictions! If your kids are up to the challenge, you can make your own video and sneak in some working in groups skills too (shhhhhh)!
Here are a few of my favorites:
Lego mannequin challenge
Disney Holiday mannequin challenge
Cleveland Cavaliers at the White House mannequin challenge
Pentatonix concert mannequin challenge
The Ohio State University Football team mannequin challenge
What are your favorite mannequin challenges that you have seen?
One of my favorite parts of my job is supervising Clinical Fellows (CFs), first year SLPs. I love watching them work with their students and seeing so many creative ideas! At one of my schools, the CF (who used to be a middle school teacher, so she can handle ANYTHING) brought out a file folder to use in articulation therapy. She had fashioned a game board stapling two file folders back to back and adding a laminated paper grid template inside, just like the old Milton Bradley Battleship® game! Here is an instructional video on how to play the real game to help your kids understand the purpose and strategy. You can use graph paper or one of these great templates I found on TPT for a dollar. The larger boxes are perfect for your younger students or those who need less visual “noise” on a page.
Each of them used a highlighter to draw in the boxes that comprised their “ships” on the boards (you can’t see the other persons board). Each of the pages had sequential numbers across the top of the grid and letters down the side of the grid. The top page of the grid was to mark their own secret ship location and the bottom grid let’s them mark their guesses as a hit or a miss. The student would pick a combo (B-7) and if it was highlighted it was a hit, if not, a miss.
When the student found all the highlighted blocks, they sunk the SLP’s ship. You could mark out the highlighted boxes for a hit in red, or use an ink dauber or a chip to cover them. She had the students produce their target sounds ( the dreaded /r/of course) on each turn for data collection and then had incidental data in the questions they asked (Is your ship on…). Easy, fun and creative, right? This portable game can be generalized to virtually any speech and language target and that’s the beauty of it! Aren’t my CFs such smart cookies ?!
I started thinking about the social implications (shocker, right?) of how to use this game format too. You could do this with the actual noisy electronic board game (which many of my boys would LOVE) or with a portable version that you can make yourself. We set up the board after talking about the target social concept du jour, and the possibilities are endless!
- We can draw a topic card or picture, and take turns asking related questions or comments.
- We can give examples of the skill we are working on that week, such as expected/unexpected choices for a particular time, place or person.
- We can embed and demonstrate the skills of whole body listening throughout the game.
- The game can be student against therapist, or made for a whole group to use with individual folders. When it’s all the kids trying to sink the therapist’s SS Friendship, it’s amazing to see how well they can problem solve and work together in a group!
- Identifying and matching emotions and facial expressions on each turn.
- Identify the characteristics of what a good friend is and isn’t. The concept of “frenemies”, especially with my girls headed to middle school, is a really important topic to discuss. For my students on the spectrum, reading people’s intentions and understanding sarcasm are tough lessons that they need LOTS of instruction and opportunities to practice in a safe environment.
- I use card sets from other social games for prompts for my readers or you could use short movie, commercial clips or pictures for social scenario prompts. I use my Seasonal Social Skills card decks to target 6 areas of social concepts (and use the included data sheets aligned to each area).
Being a good friend may not be an academic core skill, but it is a critical life skill. Practicing all the embedded social concepts that help our kids successfully develop friendships might not ensure smooth sailing socially, but will definitely help them calm the waters ahead.
What other games or activities have you used or adapted to target social language in the school setting?
I am very excited to be blogging on Autism Classroom Resources this week with Chris Reeve! Click on the image above to hop over and read all about ideas on how to integrate social language into a preschool setting. Don’t forget to follow her blog while you are there for TONS of fantastic information on supporting your students with ASD! I always learn something new from Chris. and you won’t want to miss out!
Hi speech peeps, it’s the seventh of the month on Monday, and you know what that means? The #slpmusthave sale is back! On the seventh of each month, a bunch (a gaggle, a flock, a vox?) of SLPs pick one item to discount 50% off for that day only. You can search teacherspayteachers using the hashtag #Novslpmusthave , to see the list of the items. It’s a great way to snap up some fun products to get you through the craziness of November, right through Thanksgiving break!
My Point of View Bundle is my pick for this month and is half off at only $4.00 for 75 pages of activities for your early learners. These packets have a Thanksgiving, Christmas and Winter theme and target the social language concepts of point of view, perspective taking, visualizing vocabulary, making a smart guess, context clues and listening comprehension.